Obama's trade agenda clears key Senate hurdle
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's trade agenda has cleared a key Senate hurdle to move toward a final vote.
The Senate has topped the 60 votes needed to begin substantive action on Obama's bid for "fast track" negotiating authority. The vote was 62-38.
Obama says fast track authority will improve prospects for a trade treaty with 11 other Pacific-rim nations.
Labor unions and other groups vital to Democrats strongly oppose Obama's trade agenda. They say free-trade deals cost U.S. jobs.
Obama says U.S. producers need broader access to foreign markets.